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The Microstress Effect: How Little Things Pile Up and Create Big Problems--And What to Do about It (Hardcover)

The Microstress Effect: How Little Things Pile Up and Create Big Problems--And What to Do about It By Rob Cross, Karen Dillon Cover Image
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How a million little things are dragging you down, and what to do about it.

There's a force we encounter every day that we aren't aware of--and it threatens to derail otherwise promising careers and lives: microstress.

This hidden epidemic of small moments of stress has insidiously infiltrated both our work and our personal lives with invisible but devastating effects. Microstress doesn't trigger the normal stress response in our brains to help us deal with it. Instead, it embeds itself in our minds and accumulates daily, one microstress on top of the other. The long-term impact can be debilitating. Unregistered microstress weighs us down, damages our physical and emotional health, and contributes to a decline in our well-being. What's more, microstress is baked into our lives. The source is seldom a classic antagonist, such as a demanding client or a jerk boss. Instead, it comes from the people with whom we are closest: our friends, family, and colleagues.

The good news is that once you understand microstress, you can fight back. Drawing on fresh research, Rob Cross and Karen Dillon explain the science behind the phenomenon. They also share the secrets of a small set of people who've endured their share of microstress but have still managed to cultivate relationships that enable them to thrive both at work and in life. Compelling interviews with these high achievers bring to life best practices that show you how to build resilience against microstress and ultimately how to find purpose--purpose that helps you break free from this quietly invasive force that's stealing your life.

About the Author

Rob Cross is the Edward A. Madden Professor of Global Leadership at Babson College, cofounder and director of the Connected Commons, and the author of Beyond Collaboration Overload.Karen Dillon is a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, editorial director at BanyanGlobal Family Business Advisors, and the coauthor of three books with Clayton Christensen, including the New York Times bestseller, How Will You Measure Your Life?Connect with Rob Cross and Karen Dillon on Twitter at @KarDillon and @RobCrossNetwork and on,, and

Product Details
ISBN: 9781647823979
ISBN-10: 1647823978
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication Date: April 18th, 2023
Pages: 240
Language: English